Home Cars These Are The Most Jaw-Dropping Auto Show Reveals Of All Time
Cars

These Are The Most Jaw-Dropping Auto Show Reveals Of All Time

Cameron EittreimNovember 30, 2022

One of the most exciting aspects of the auto industry is when automakers reveal new models to the public. A lot of the time, these cars don’t come to fruition until the automaker gets feedback for a concept car. The concept car has been the way that automakers showcase the future of design. Cars like the Oldsmobile Aurora, Plymouth Prowler, and even the Ford Bronco started as concept cars.

There have also been many high-end cars revealed on the auto show circuit which was a complete surprise. The Tesla Cybertruck was one of these vehicles as the automotive industry didn’t know what to expect from Elon Musk. The Cybertruck was one of the most jaw-dropping reveals in auto show history but there have been many others as well. We looked at some of the most jaw-dropping auto show reveals in history, so check them out here.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

Porsche Mission E

The Mission E was one of the most jaw-dropping Porsches of all time because it was unlike anything else that ever hit the road. The Mission E was unlike any other Porsche before because it was a fully electric-powered sports car. No other Porsche before was a fully electric model (via Porsche).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

The Mission E was also groundbreaking because it can be fully charged in 15 minutes. Other notable features of the Mission E were the frighteningly fast 0 to 60 times the car produced. The styling of the Mission E was also different from anything else on the market at the time.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

Mercedes Concept Intelligent Aerodynamic Automobile (IAA)

Mercedes-Benz is also a company that’s at the forefront of design and innovation. There was a time when Mercedes cars were some of the most reliable vehicles on the road. That’s still the case as the Mercedes Concept Intelligent Aerodynamic Automobile (IAA) showed the public. The design of the car was unlike anything else that the German automaker has ever produced (via Mercedes-Benz).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

The design was ahead of its time when the concept was revealed but it only had a 279 HP engine with a 39-mile range. Still, at the time, the concept Intelligent Aerodynamic Automobile (IAA) was the talk of the automotive industry.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

Ford Bronco Concept (2004)

The Bronco concept that was revealed in 2004 was one of the most talked about cars in automotive history. After the Bronco was discontinued in 1996 there was an enormous hunger from enthusiasts for another Bronco. The concept car was a blast from the past with a lot of new modern design features as well (via Hot Cars).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

The first and most notable thing was the all-metal body and design. Coupled with a completely revised interior the Bronco concept was a nod to the past but nothing like we’d seen before. The Bronco concept didn’t come into production until almost a decade later.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

Pontiac Stinger

General Motors is a shell of the company that it once was, and in the 1980s the company sold dozens of different cars across various brand names. Pontiac was at the pinnacle of popularity in the 1980s and GM teased a few interesting concepts. The Stinger was a dune-buggy-inspired concept car that was built for fun (via Hot Cars).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

At the time it was one of the most talked about concepts on the auto show circuit because there weren’t a lot of SUVs for sale. And the ones that were for sale weren’t all that sophisticated, since this was a time when there were cars like the Suzuki Samurai.

Photo Credit: Tech Blog

Oldsmobile Aerotech

The Oldsmobile brand was at one time the pinnacle of the automotive industry and there were few carmakers on par with it. The amount of innovation and technology that came out of Oldsmobile was jaw-dropping and many of the cars are still iconic today. Aerotech was the product of years of research and technology that finally came to fruition (via Hot Cars).

Photo Credit: Tech Blog

The car was a beautiful supercar and the last car that you’d expect to come out of General Motors. The design of the car was that of a high-end supercar, and there wasn’t a lot on the market that could match the top speed of this one. The Aerotech sadly never made it into production but it was a very notable car.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

Citroën Karin

If the Citroën Karin looks familiar it’s because it was the first concept car to ever utilize a pyramid shape. The same kind of pyramid shape that we saw years later on the Cybertruck. There is no denying that the Karin was a thing of beauty. With an elegant glass design on the top, the car was indeed a beautiful pyramid (via Hot Cars).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

Putting a vehicle like this into production wouldn’t be cost-effective at all. The Karin never made it into production but it was one of the most jaw-dropping reveals of all time. Many in the automotive industry still talk about the car today.

Photo Credit: Motor 1

Ford Maya

Remember that time when Ford copied Lamborghini? Probably not, but the Blue Oval did borrow heavily from the Lamborghini design for the Maya. The concept car was designed in Italy and there’s no denying the stellar beauty that car had to offer. But there was also no denying that the car copied almost all of its design cues from Lamborghini (via Hot Cars).

Photo Credit: Motor 1

The Maya was developed for the USA market and the idea behind the car came from a rendering of a 1980s video game. The 3.0-liter Yamaha-developed V6 that powered the car was so impressive that Ford used it in the Taurus SHO later on.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

Lamborghini Athon by Bertone

The Lamborghini Athon was one of the weirdest-looking cars of the 1980s. The Athon had a high beltline and a questionable appearance that looked like it was out of a movie. This was the wedge-shaped era for cars after all and the Athon was at the forefront. This was also the decade where Lamborghini was branching out in terms of design (via Hot Cars).

1980 Lamborghini Athon
Photo Credit: Supercars.net

But the Athon was not just a weird-shaped car; it was also quite fast. It had one of the most powerful engines used in a Lamborghini concept car up to that point. The automotive press didn’t know what to make of the Athon. Which is why it was the talk of the town for most of the 1980s.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

Italdesign Machimoto

Revealed at the Turin Auto Show in 1986 the Machimoto left critics divided. Was it a motorbike or a passenger car? The question was truly captivating, and the car was dubbed a “Socializing” car. There was nothing else that was like it on the market at the time. The car was created using a Volkswagen Golf platform and a motorcycle-infused design (via Hot Cars).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

The interior was a lot larger than you’d think a car in this class would offer. The engine came out of a Golf GTI 16 v 1781 cc and it offered 139 HP. The Machimoto never made it into production but the Italian-infused design was excellent.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

Bertone Ramarro Corvette

Purists in the sports car community did not well-like the C4 Corvette. The design was considered boxy and dated even when it was brand new. But the Bertone Ramarro Corvette took the boxy design of the C4 and added Italian class to it. The idea behind this rendition of the Corvette was to appeal to a European audience (via Car Buzz).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

The car never made it into production but the styling drew a fair amount of attention from the automotive press. The car was designed with all kinds of elements that you’d expect to see on a Ferrari or Lamborghini. There are a few Corvette concept cars that come to mind when you think of the brand, and this is one of them.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

Aston Martin Bulldog

Aston Martin isn’t a brand known for groundbreaking concepts, but the Bulldog drew a lot of attention. The wedge-shaped design was in line with other cars coming out during this period. The 5.3l twin-turbo V8 was a completely new engine that Aston Martin wanted to show off to the world (via Car Buzz).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

The Bulldog never made it into production but the car borrowed a lot of styling cues from the Lagonda sedan. The Bulldog didn’t set any speed records but the design of the car was a breath of fresh air. Aston Martin released a few other sports cars into production after the Bulldog concept.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

Nissan NX-21

The NX-21 was a concept car that was way ahead of the rest when it came to design. There was just something to love about the sleek futuristic styling of the NX-21. The Gullwing doors and ceramic gasoline engine are things that only Nissan could get away with. The car was popular on the auto show circuit (via Car Buzz).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

And let’s not forget that it was Nissan that sold the first talking car in America. The Maxima was a car that spoke quite a few commands to the driver. It’s interesting to see how far Nissan has come in terms of design and technology since then.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

Buick Questor

You cannot deny the talent that the team at GM had in the 1980s and 1990s. Their concept cars were out of this world in terms of beauty and design. Take the Questor, for instance, because this was a completely different-looking Buick. The styling cues take a bow from the Regatta sports car sold a few years later (via Car Buzz).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

The folks at Buick had been trying to appeal to younger car buyers. Many aspects from the design of the Questor were used on the EV1 years later. The car was ahead of its time in terms of design and performance. Unfortunately, Buick didn’t embrace this design philosophy until later on.

Photo Credit: Motor 1

Chrysler Lamborghini Portofino

There was a period when Chrysler Corporation owned Lamborghini. This brought forth the Portofino concept car, which was slated for production. Unfortunately, the car never made it into production but its design was used on the Intrepid in the 1990s. The sleek cab-forward design caught the car industry by storm (via Car Buzz).

Photo Credit: Motor 1

The Portofino was the culmination of years of design and planning. Chrysler was attempting to change the way consumers bought a family sedan. The sleek styling was the talk of the town for a long time. Unfortunately, Lamborghini was sold shortly thereafter but the company retained the rights to the Portofino.

Photo Credit: Motor 1

Chevrolet Corvette Indy Concept

We know the C4 Corvette was not the most well-liked Corvette model, but there was a highly anticipated concept that came out in the 80s. The Corvette Indy Concept was an indicator of what the future of the brand would be. You can very much see remnants of the C8 Corvette years before it was even a thing (via Car Buzz).

Photo Credit: Motor 1

The Corvette was always a high-end performance car but the Indy Concept was a glimpse of what a supercar looked like. There were a lot of revolutionary exotic cars back then and the Indy Concept was one of the most unique.

Photo Credit: Motor Trend

Pontiac Banshee

And it wasn’t just the Indy Concept that came out during this period either, there was the Pontiac Banshee. The Banshee adopted the same type of elongated styling that the Corvette Indy Concept had. The Banshee was the precursor to what the Fourth Generation F-Body cars were going to be (via Car Buzz).

Photo Credit: W Super Cars

The look and feel of the car was something that GM was going for with the next-generation sports cars. The entire automotive industry was moving in the direction of more aerodynamic cars and the Banshee was it.

Photo Credit: Motor 1

Chevrolet Express

Long before the Chevy Cargo vans were called the “Express,” there was a concept car that came out in the 1980s. The Express Concept was marketed more as a people transport than a focused cargo vehicle. The unique look and feel of the thing were different than anything else that GM had put out (via Car Buzz).

Photo Credit: Motor 1

This concept never went into production but the nameplate was used on the next-generation cargo van. The 1980s were a time when automakers were trying all kinds of new things and the Express was one of those new concepts.

Photo Credit: Audi

Audi Avus Quattro

Audi never had a supercar until the R8 was released, but there was the Avus Quattro concept revealed in 1991. A W-12 engine powered the Avus Quattro developed by the Volkswagen Group. The car got its name from a long stretch of highway in Berlin (via Car Buzz).

Photo Credit: Audi

The styling was used later on with the R8 and if you look closely at the car you can see a lot of the similarities. The R8 was a great car and the Avus laid the groundwork for what would be the next generation’s car.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

Ferrari Conciso

Ever think you’d get to see a Ferrari roadster? There was one and it was a concept car released in 1993. The Conciso might even remind you of something like the Plymouth Prowler in the way it was styled (via Motor Trend).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

The performance of the car was not the main selling point of this concept, instead, something that showed the public that Ferrari could be designed outside the box.

Photo Credit: Motor 1

Porsche Boxster

The Porsche Boxster started life as a concept car revealed in 1993. The interesting thing about the Boxster concept car was that it was very close to the car that ended up going into production (via Motor Trend).

Photo Credit: Motor 1

The Boxster was unlike any other Porsche that had come before it. The car was being marketed as a more affordable option for young professionals. The Boxster was one of the most popular Porsche models ever released.

Photo Credit: Chrysler

Chrysler Atlantic

Chrysler was on a roll in the 1990s with the number of concept cars that came onto the market. The Atlantic was one of the most intriguing concepts. The elongated styling was reminiscent of a roadster instead of the traditional cars sold (via Motor Trend).

Photo Credit: Chrysler

The Atlantic was a popular concept car and it just went to show the world that Chrysler still had great designers. The car was never put into production but it was a very popular car on the auto show circuit.

Photo Credit: Motor 1

Ford GT90

Of all the concept cars that hit the auto world in the 1990s, the Ford GT90 was one of the most popular. The car was heavily borrowed from the GT40 which was one of the most iconic Fords of all time. The fact that Ford was getting back into the supercar business intrigued the automotive community (via Motor Trend).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

The car had all of the makings of a great supercar but it never went into production. Ford did bring the GT back years later but neither car was close to the GT90 in terms of styling or overall design.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

Ford Indigo

Another roadster meant to invoke the nostalgia of yesteryear was the Indigo. The team designed this one at Ford and hit the auto show circuit in 1996. The unique styling of the car was unlike anything else Ford ever sold (via Motor Trend).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

The car had a lot of styling cues that you’d see on things like the Spyder nowadays. The Indigo never went into production but it was a very popular concept car. The Indigo spawned several unique licensing deals which included toys.

Photo Credit: Chrysler

Dodge Copperhead

To say Chrysler was on a roll in the 1990s would be an understatement because the company was cranking out all kinds of great concept cars. Take the Copperhead for instance, which was one of the most popular concept cars of all time (via Motor Trend).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

The Copperhead was designed to compete with the Corvette, and it could have done that well. The performance under the hood was borrowed from the Viper which was a production car at the time.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

Alfa Romeo Scighera

Although Alfa Romeo didn’t come back to the American market until recently, the brand was still a major part of the automotive industry. The Scighera was released to the world in 1997 and it showed just how advanced the company was when it came to designing autos (via Motor Trend).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

The car was every bit the beautiful supercar that you’d expect it to be. The interesting thing about the Schighera was just how beautiful the car was. Alfa Romeo never put this car into production, unfortunately, but it was a beautiful sight.

Photo Credit: Mecum

Chrysler Firepower

By the 2000s Chrysler was part of Daimler which owned Mercedes-Benz, and that meant that the company had access to all kinds of new tech. Firepower was the vision of those two companies and it incorporated a high-end coupe design. You’d almost mistake this car for something like an Aston Martin (via Motor Trend).

Photo Credit: Mecum

The Firepower was a great car that didn’t disappoint when it came to design. Unfortunately, the production car that we got instead was the Crossfire. The Crossfire was never as popular as the Firepower concept was.

Photo Credit: Motor 1

Cadillac Cien

The Cadillac Cien was the first Cadillac supercar ever revealed to the public. The powerful 7.5 Liter V-12 was capable of producing 772 horsepower, which might not sound like a lot today but back then, it was (via Motor Trend).

Photo Credit: Motor 1

The Cien was a beautiful car that incorporated everything that made the brand great. Unfortunately, the Cien never went into production but we did get the Corvette-based Cadillac XLR a few years later.

Photo Credit: Mecum

Ford Shelby GR1

The Shelby GR1 was revealed in 2005 and it was one of the most interesting one-off concept cars of all time. The styling was aggressive and strong with a bold stance that you don’t see very often. The car almost had a Mustang-style tone to it, but it built on the Shelby name and reputation (via Motor Trend).

Photo Credit: Mecum

The car had a lot of potential and it was popular in the automotive world. Unfortunately, Ford never put it into production. Still, the car was the talk of the town thanks to the bold styling and impressive performance.

Photo Credit: Chrysler

Chrysler ME Four-Twelve

Another Chrysler supercar revealed in the 2000s was the Four-Twelve. The car was built on the excellent Daimler platform with lots of Mercedes technology under the hood. The car only weighed a measly 2,888 pounds. The styling looked like it was carved out of stone and it was quite popular (via Motor Trend).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

Unfortunately, the cost and logistics of putting the car into production just didn’t make sense. The ME Four-Twelve never went into production. Although Chrysler has released a few performance rides since then none have been as groundbreaking as this one was.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

Ford F-150 Aluminum

When Ford revealed the next generation F-150 was going to be aluminum, the automotive world was up in arms. The thought of an aluminum pickup truck just couldn’t happen, although it did and the truck was more popular than ever. Ford was the first company to ever try something that was deemed so extreme (via Motor Trend).

Photo Credit: Ford

The Aluminum based F-150 has become one of the most popular generations of the truck. We’ve seen interesting variations of the truck such as the Raptor and even the Shelby-based performance version of the truck.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Please wait 5 sec.